Category: History

Edgar Allen Poe On Blogging?

“Authors will perceive the immense advantage of giving their own manuscripts directly to the public without the expensive interference of the type-setter, and the often ruinous intervention of the publisher. All that a man of letters need do will be to pay some attention to legibility of manuscript, arrange his pages to suit himself, and stereotype them instantaneously, as arranged. He may intersperse them with his own drawings, or with anything to please his own fancy, … In the new régime the humblest will speak as often and as freely as the most exalted, and will be sure of receiving just that amount of attention which the intrinsic merit of their speeches may deserve.”

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T-minus 24 Hours and Counting

Hmmm, let’s see if I have everything…

1) Overpriced, moderately-racy Valentine’s card, check.

2) Flowers and Walkers Shortbread Cookies, che…oh, I knew I was missing something (mental note: hit Target after work today).

3) Two tickets to Monty Python’s Spamalot…for next weekend…check.

4) Dinner reservations for two…also for next weekend…check.

5) Obligatory rehash of old Valentine’s Day Huntsville Times column and blog posts…check, check, check and check!

That about covers it. Have a great weekend, everyone. And guys, if she really loves you, she still will even if you screw everything up.

Believe me, I know.

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25 Random Things About The Eyeguy


Why am I resorting to pirate talk so early in the morning? Because I’ve been tagged about a gazillion times in yet another internet meme, this time on Facebook: 25 Random Things About Me.

Not that I mind that much, it’s just that it has that whole cheesy, chain-letter feel. When I was a kid, my mother would always make a big production about ripping those up and throwing them in the trashcan whenever we received one, so it’s probably just one of those weird Baby Boomer childhood psychological baggage flashback things. Don’t sweat it if you tagged me; I’ll deal with it like I always do.… Read the rest

Rosa to MLK to JRB–Justice Rollin’ On Like A River

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

–Amos 5:24

Regular readers know him as JRB. He’s a Harding grad like me and the most prolific commenter on this blog, the one whose fervent man-passion for his beloved ‘Dores and his meticulous command of the King’s English often get him into a scrap or two with my Bama-lovin’ alter ego, Mike the Redneck.

And through the power of the written word, a cell phone speed dial and a few blessed opportunities to break bread together, he has become one of my best friends and confidantes in the world and the “little brother” I never had.… Read the rest

Bravo, Enrique!

A while back, I wrote a story about my Dad and his service aboard the submarine USS Cubera in the 1950s. Several times a week, people Google their way here for information on the Cubera and check out that post. I always hoped that one of Dad’s former crewmates or another Cubera alum might someday leave a comment.

I just always figured it would be a US sailor, not a Venezuelan one:

eventhough 3 years has almost passed on  the story of your dad and mom, I would like to add that your dad behavior could not be better, I’m a venezuelan citizen who served onbaord the ARV Tiburon( SS CuBERA) for 5 years; I was P.O.1;

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United We Win

On this Veterans Day, I pause to honor my favorite vet of all time:


That’s my Dad on the left (in case you couldn’t figure that out) with a crew mate on the deck of the submarine USS Cubera, circa 1953. Part of the unfinished business that remained when my Dad died at a young age are all the unanswered questions that I would like to ask him.

Such as: What was your friend’s name? Where was he from? Was he the only black crew member or were there others? Was he a steward or an Engineman like you? What was going on at the moment that picture was taken?… Read the rest

I’m a Socialist, He’s a Socialist, She’s a Socialist, We’re A Socialist, Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Socialist Too?

I’ve had to chuckle a bit at all the talk of socialism over the past few days.

I thought: Hey, aren’t we already a bit socialist anyway?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t our federal government just basically take over our financial system, and under a Republican president no less?

Don’t we already garnish a portion of the wages of working stiffs like you and me and funnel it toward a fund from which we provide health care (Medicare) and financial support (Social Security) for the elderly?

Aren’t I personally part of a system that takes your money–yes, YOUR MONEY–and pools it to provide a vast fund for the health care of our nation’s veterans, you know, the ones who as President Lincoln said, “hath borne the battle” and therefore we have a moral obligation to support?… Read the rest

O Say, Can You Sling? (The Mud, That Is)

In the comments from this post, Hal made a good observation to the effect that it’s important to take the long view and recall that “mud-slinging” has always been a part of American politics from our country’s inception. Now comes this article from The Washington Post verifying that same point, that verbal low-blows and fear-mongering are “nothing new under the sun.”

For instance, Abraham Lincoln’s enemies once referred to him as a “A Long, Lean, Lank, Lantern-Jawed, High Cheeked-Boned Spavined Rail-Splitting Stallion” (“spavine” refers to a general state of deterioration or decrepitude), and on another occasion as a man who “could ruin more liquor than all the boys of the town together.”… Read the rest

Dad To Son: Eat Right, Study Hard, Vote Well

Dear Number One Son,

By now, I hope you’ve received your absentee ballot for your very first presidential election. It’s your ticket to full-fledged citizenship, so try not to lose it beneath that Mt. Everest-sized laundry pile on your dorm floor.

(click here for the rest)

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Blogging The Wonders Years–Chapter VII

(This is Chapter VII of a series that I started but never really finished…let me know if you want more because there’s plenty).

Listen, I know times are tough. After I checked my retirement and college savings accounts yesterday, I had to reach for my inhaler and start playing the Taizé chants on my iPod in a continual loop.

But a little perspective is in order–I lived through the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s, for Pete’s sake. And as this February 20, 1975 political rant from the 7th grade personal journal that I kept for Ms. Fine’s class at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, Virginia amply shows, I was madder than #$%@&*, and I just wasn’t going to take it any more:

You said I could think of something to put in here, so heres the one thing I thought of [we didn’t cover dangling prepositions until 10th grade].

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Where Were You In ’72?

In a few minutes, I’ll lace up my Nike Vomero running shoes (black and gold swoosh for Harding–Hail, alma mater!) and once again hit the pavement for an early morning 5-miler. It’s a habit with roots from the early 1970s, more specifically, the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

I’ve been reminiscing some about that time these past few days as I’ve been writing my next Huntsville Times community column which will appear on August 10th, the opening weekend of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

Here’s a sneak preview:

During the 1972 Munich Games, American runners like Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Dave Wottle and Frank Shorter captured my elementary schoolboy imagination and launched my own much less stellar running career…

…I fashioned a makeshift running singlet by cutting off the sleeves of a white t-shirt and stenciling a crude “U.S.A.”

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“We the People” Are a Motley and Colorful Crew

My Huntsville Times community column this month is dedicated to Chris and Suzanne, Jane, Father Ray, Marquez, Maricela and many others (e.g., Nic and Diane, Uncle Dick, M.C., Mike and Jeanette and their three fine sons and, of course, Elsie) who made our recent Washington D.C. trip one to remember but whose names I didn’t mention because they limit me to only 680 words.

But I mention them now because it’s my blog and I can if I want to!

Let freedom ring, baby.… Read the rest

Color Me Audacious

Recently, during a Bible class at my church, the teacher, a man in his early 30s, said something to this effect: I wish we could return to our 1950s morality.

I immediately thought: Which 1950s morality are you talking about? The black and white, warm and fuzzy, cut and dry predictability of Ozzie and Harriet or the black and white Jim Crow laws and state-supported racism which consigned a significant portion of our Southern population to second-class citizenship, public lynchings and other various and sundry travesties of justice?

And what year were you born in? 1975? What could you possibly know about “1950s morality?”Read the rest